premier-mcdougal 5/2/20

Countdown to Christmas!

Before you know it the festive season will be here. Here are a few tips to make it even more magical (and profitable) for you and your customers.

What customers want

• Nostalgic products, evocative of childhood memories and experiences.
• Treats and indulgent moments with family and friends.
• With highly visible social media channels, products need to look as good as they taste, with colour, shimmer and sparkle.

Source: Mintel

Deck the halls

Make sure you are on-trend when it comes to your Christmas decorations…

  1. A natural inspiration – pine cones, twigs and bark-like textures for a contemporary and welcoming look. Natural ornaments to hang on the tree as well as wooden candleholders and lanterns complete the look.
  2. Blue Christmas – think deep midnight blues, aquamarine hues and ceruleans as both main and accent colours.
  3. Light up – lighting displays and Christmas ornaments lit up will be a huge draw for customers. The emergence of warm golden light that we’ve seen in the recent past continues to grow.
  4. Embrace the senses – within your decorations use sound, smell, touch
    and taste to get your customers engaged – and impressed.

Spice it up!

Why not spice up your menu this Christmas and off er something different for both meat and non-meat eaters. “I’m always surprised at the number of people that still serve nut roast as an alternative Christmas dish,” says chef Anjula Devi. “Chefs have such an amazing opportunity to be more creative now with the ever increasing vegan and vegetarian population.” One of the dishes Anjula recommends is her cauliflower koftas. “We take our original recipe and incorporate cranberries and chestnuts into the recipe, then create a sauce full of Christmas spices like cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg,” she explains. A great alternative meat dish is turkey kebabs, made using Christmas flavourings.

Caring at Christmas

At Green Tree Court in Exeter, Christmas is kept as traditional as possible for the residents. However, while staff make a conscious effort to make sure that every detail about the day is special for their residents and guests, it isn’t just about the food. “All the residents wake up to a visit from Santa and his little helper, and are given an individual handpicked present followed by a glass of bucks fizz or mulled orange juice with their breakfast,” explains Tim Ware, head chef. Residents, and any family joining them, gather at 11.30am in the café for a glass of champagne and canapés before lunch. “Lunch is served in the piano lounge where we have two big tables of 25 laid with white linen tablecloths with gold table runners down the centre,” adds Tim. “A place card with each resident’s name is placed on the table which is decorated with handmade centrepieces of freshly picked holly, ivy, lilies and tall candles, made by the residents. Each place setting has a Christmas napkin and cracker.”

Free from customers

According to Mintel, the UK free from market has grown by 133% between 2013 and 2018 and is now estimated at £837m. Therefore, with 77% of
consumers believing foodservice outlets are not doing enough to cater for gluten intolerances and avoiders, make sure you do – especially at Christmas when your customer turnover is going to be at its highest.

Dazzling desserts

Who doesn’t love an indulgent dessert at Christmas? Whether you need some last-minute inspiration or a twist on the traditional these puddings will make everyone’s Christmas wish come true!

See recipes Dark Chocolate & Pomegranate Cheesecake and Shimmer Cake


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